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Long Lasting

Long Lasting

What makes a company last beyond it’s first few years of operation?  I hear that more than 60% of new businesses fail within the first three years and I doubt that it is just bad management that takes them all down.  Maybe it’s a lack of initial capital or a poor work force that gives them a bad reputation, which drives customers away.  I guess some of it could be bad marketing or a lack of clear vision and mission to guide them.  And of course, there could just be a bad owner who cannot communicate with the public or his/her potential customers.  There are probably other factors that I cannot think of right now, but it is a fascinating thing to consider, especially if you are an entrepreneur who is currently starting a business.  How can you start a business that will last generations?

I think that it might be a combination of good management, strong financial backing, excellent hires, solid marketing, a clearly communicated mission and vision, a great leadership starting at the top and trickling down – basically all of the opposites of what makes businesses fail.  I think that these things give companies a chance to succeed in the long run instead of flaming out in years one through three.  But I also think there must be other things that keep businesses strong for decades. 

There’s a company in Dallas that has been in business for three decades doing McKinney plantation shutters and South Lake plantation shutters (They also serve other suburbs in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas, but because of my personal location, I focus on those two.)  They are not just staying afloat either – they are thriving.  They’ve served thousands of customers who swear by their work and so I assume the obvious – it also takes quality service and quality products to make customers happy and thus get good word of mouth.  But I also know that this company has solid family values that underlie everything they do.  They are a biblically-based company that is not afraid to let people know that they want to be held accountable for what they believe in.  So, I think we can add “stated good values” to the equation of what makes a business last.

Do you have any other opinions about what makes a company last longer?  What other ingredients am I forgetting?  Help me complete this picture with your comments.  Thanks in advance.